2020 might seem like an ironic year to celebrate World Tourism Day, but true wanderers don’t let a global pandemic come in the way of their love for travel and paying homage to it. Which is why this year’s World Tourism Day is taking a different route with countries around the globe finding new ways to celebrate. Take a look! By Bayar Jain


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Every year, on September 27, wander bugs celebrate their love for travel. Started in 1980, World Tourism Day found its inception following a decision by United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) to observe this day—coinciding with the day the Statutes of the UNWTO were adopted in 1970—to reassert the importance of travel socially, culturally, politically and economically. While this day might seem to be a futile observance in the lockdown-heavy year of 2020, the importance of travelling to boost economically affected societies takes centre stage, irrespective. Which is why this year’s World Tourism Day celebrations take a different turn. Here is what some countries have chalked out for 2020.

1. Sand sculpting in India


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Tamil Nadu’s Mamallapuram beach is known for luring yoga enthusiasts onto its shores. Abiraami Yogaalayam students are one such group of people who practise their art every day on the beach. Yoga aside, these students are creating a special sand sculpture to depict the Narikuravar tribal livelihoods of the region. The same will then be followed up by a discussion on ‘Social Awareness with an action plan’, and a global peace prayer.

2. Awards voices of responsible tourism in Slovenia


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Sustainable travel should be the only way to travel, and Slovenia’s capital Ljubljana celebrates this every year. Named the Green Microphone Awards, the annual extravaganza honours and awards tourist guides—or ‘voices of responsible travel’. These cultural educators are awarded for efforts and work for connecting the world with their transfixing stories.

3. Lessons on Mayan culture in Guatemala


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Wanderlust Guatemala, an event created by Gray Line Guatemala, a tour operating company of the country, aims to bring the colourful history and gastronomical offerings of the Mayan culture to the fore. Scheduled to be conducted via a Facebook Live event on September 24, the celebrations are designed to bring a slice of true Mayan culture straight to your homes.

4. Meeting tea farmers in Japan


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Japan’s famous Matcha tea has crossed borders with ease, but little is known about its origins and brews. Meet the Tea Farmer aims to solve his hurdle and allow tea lovers to interact with the people behind the aromatic leaves. Ten lucky attendees will not only learn the farm-to-cup process but also be a part of an interactive tea drinking experience.

5. Tours of Victoria West in South Africa


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South Africa’s Victoria West is steeped in years of history and dotted daintily with architecture galore. And there’s no day better than World Tourism Day to revisit them all! The day-long event will take travellers on an unforgettable journey in and around the province. Think, Apollo Theatre’s Art Deco Architecture, Anglican Church’s solemnity, and nature-filled walks through Moonlight Hill.

Related: On World Tourism Day, India Will Launch A Database Of The Hospitality Industry